(Yagya- Step by Step- in Brief) Photo by Author
An old saying goes: Precaution is better than cure.
In the context of COVID-19, precaution is, so far, the only option.
Wearing mask, social distancing, hand washing, avoiding crowds, proper ventilation of homes are necessary precautions.
Even Vaccine is only a precaution.
How about Yagya?
The other name for Yagya (or Yagna) is Agni-hotra. In Yagya or Agni- hotra you burn fire wood and to thank the Almighty, you make offerings in the fire.
Every Hindu family ritual in India, from birth to death, has yagya included.
Yagya in Hinduism is recommended to purify the environment (and thought and mind).
It is for this world; and not the other world, as some Westerns say.
Bhagvad Gita (3/ 14, 15) highlight the importance of Yagya, as Follows:
अन्नाद्भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भव: |
यज्ञाद्भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञ: कर्मसमुद्भव: || 14||
annād bhavanti bhūtāni parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ
yajñād bhavati parjanyo yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ
Meaning: On Food subsist living beings, from rain is produced Foodgrains; Rain is produced by Yagna, Yagna is a prescribed (good, Useful) karma (duty).
कर्म ब्रह्मोद्भवं विद्धि ब्रह्माक्षरसमुद्भवम् |
तस्मात्सर्वगतं ब्रह्म नित्यं यज्ञे प्रतिष्ठितम् || 15||
karma brahmodbhavaṁ viddhi brahmākṣhara-samudbhavam
tasmāt sarva-gataṁ brahma nityaṁ yajñe pratiṣhṭhitam
Meaning: The prescribed duty is described in Veda, and Veda is manifest by the Lord Himself; so Lord is present (Lord’s blessings) are always in Yagya.
Taitriyanayak (10/63/9) highlighted the importance of Yagya as follows:
अग्निहोत्रम साँयम प्रात: गृहणाम निष्कृति: सविष्टम सुहुतुम यज्ञकर्तूनाम प्रायणं स्वर्गस्य लोकस्य ज्योति: ।
Agnihotram sayam pratah grihaam nishkritiha svishtam suhutum yagyakartunam prayanam svargsya lokasya Jyothi.
Meaning: By doing yagya morning and evening, your home becomes clean and your brilliance spreads (you get a good name) in this world.
Many years back, I had come across that by doing yagya before launching a project or going on a mission, you can predict with the help of Yagya whether your project or mission will be successful or not. If your yagya has smoke free, brilliant fire, you would most likely succeed; if your yagya has more smoke than fire, you would most likely fail. I
I did an experiment. I along with my wife and children performed Yagya every Sunday for 108 consecutive weeks. And, believe you me, it turned out to be as described in Hindus Shastras (holy books). (Whenever I use the word, holy books, I am intrigued why some books are holy books, while others are books. The answer I have found is Holy books are written for the guidance and wellbeing of the masses. (Other) books are written for Royalty Income.)
BTW: That experiment was in India.
After moving to USA, it effectively stopped, because
We here have homes made of wood. So, It could be dangerous.
The Landlord will object.
The Smoke siren will blare up all around the neighborhood.
Someone may call 911.
Wood burning causes pollution
Instead, air fresheners are better.
I do use air fresheners.
But COVID-19 reminded me of Yagya and its importance and benefits.
And I found two good ways to do it (As a saying goes: where there is a will, there is/ are way(s)):
First, traditional Yagna can be easily performed in an open community space like a Temple.
Second, at home, it can be performed in the backyard, if you have one, and without using firewood. (Believe you me firewood burnt in fire places in our homes produce much more smoke and pollution, though not readily seen while enjoying the warmth in our sitting rooms, as it is released up in the environment through our home Chimneys).You may use dry coconut to make fire. And if you burn it on an aluminum foil, it is absolutely safe. Keep it small and manageable. And it can be done with may be a little smaller benefits. But we need everything to chase out and kill Corona and it’s variants and may be its future family members lurking in the environment.
Without going into too much detail of their ingredients and pitfalls, and thus, may be hurting sentiments of industry and users, I wish to quote a conclusion of a study ‘Ten questions concerning air fresheners and indoor built environments’ published (2017) and available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article
“In conclusion, air fresheners are used throughout society, often with the intent to create a favorable indoor air environment. However, air fresheners may come with unintended and perhaps invisible risks. This article looked at the science, health, and policy dimensions of air fresheners, and offered research findings and directions on ways to improve the air quality indoors and reduce potential exposures to pollutants.”
Yagya is not there. Therefore, this article.
Biggest winner of Air Fresheners is convenience, ready to pick up off the shelf of any grocery store; and huge Product Advertisement budgets and promotions, buy one get two free kind.
Note: The head photo is the cover page of a small booklet that I had compiled then and I have given a copy free of cost to anyone interested. It explains step by step yagya process. The whole process takes 30- 20 minutes; Beginners 30 minutes, proficient 20. You may still have an ecopy, free of cost, from me by contacting at firstname.lastname@example.org.